Ron Vanderhoff is succeeding with a grafted veggie: My grafted tomatoes are off the charts this year. It's my third year with grafted plants (four varieties) and they are bearing heavily with no verticillium, fusarium or apparent nematode issues.
Jeanne Skinner does great with zucchini: It is always a wonderful year to grow zucchini and have a game of where is it in the garden. Remember: veggies love compost tea and warm winds, giving us a reason to use overhead watering in our grow plan.
Gerald D. Stewart says: The vegetable garden is late in being planted, but tomato seeds were started awhile back and are nearing full size in quarts, ready to plant out. The seeds, purchased three years ago, germinated almost 100%. Cultivars are: Ace 55VF, Balconi Yellow, Black Sea Man, Burpee’s Long-Keeper, Cherokee Purple, Early Girl, Green Zebra, Goliath Pio, Red Alert, Red Zebra, Striped Stuffer, Super Beefsteak, Super Sweet 100, Sweet Million, Tami G, a rainbow mix of cherry types, a rainbow mix of beefsteak types, and a tomato with variegated foliage! Two herbs were planted near the tomato patch. African Blue Basil grows 4’ around and nearly 4’ tall, and is full of flowers that attract hundreds of bees from March well into December. It usually survives the winters here in Vista, and lasts two to three years. Also planted was bronze fennel, which was allowed to go to seed a couple of years ago. When harvest-time came I was stunned at the huge number of tiny ladybug “alligators.” It is like a ladybug factory. The cut seed heads were laid on other plants so the larvae could scurry onto them. Once they were gone the seeds were finally collected and saved. Those seeds provided the plants that were planted this year.
Andy Rathbone has some veggies year-round: The tarragon is doing better this year than last year’s plant. The basil’s not doing as well. I also tired of buying green onions, only to have them rot in the fridge before having a chance to eat them. So, before the last batch was about to rot, I stuck them in a glass of water. A few days later, they had roots, and a few days after that they were in the ground and doing well. When I need some green onions, I just dig down a few inches, then snip a few onions a half-inch or so above the roots. They always grow back within a few weeks, ensuring a supply of fresh green onions. The year-round gang of chives, rosemary, sorrel, thyme, and oregano are all doing well.
Tammy Schwab is using grow bags this year: I am in the middle of a landscape makeover, so this season I am trying grow bags for my veggies and herbs. I have several heirloom tomatoes, celery, fennel, basil, parsley, oregano, eggplant, and peppers. So far so good! All were purchased from the Master Gardeners, including the grow bags. Love the grow bags!
Barb Huntington has been very busy with: regular zucchini, some kind of pale long zucchini, a big rounder squash (can't find packets, but I know it was all organic and it tastes great). Cucumbers (several varieties), green beans, Russian kale, spinach (still going strong and hasn't bolted, chard (several types), a gazillion tomatoes (have only had a few ripe small ones), still getting wonderful peas, tomatillo, beets, carrots. Fruit: blackberries (not doing very well), strawberries, finishing up the goji berries, one single almond on the new tree, peaches, apples, avocados (the tree that came up from a discarded seed is full of avocados I can't get with the longest picker), kumquats (vast quantities), moon and stars watermelon, but I don't see any apricots. Also: fava beans, soy beans, artichokes (went past perfection while I was on vacation), many kinds of basil, marjoram, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, (sing along), kohlrabi, fennel (finishing up), onions, garlic, leeks, plus probably other stuff as I plant way too much and don't space adequately. Tonight's dinner included squash, big (but still tender) pea pods, beans, carrot, and basil from the garden and the give away bag I put out in front is gone.
Paula Suttle tried several things with mixed results: I planted English Peas (from a Von's store package) and I got a small harvest, but very sweet. I used to plant them up a cloth net, but these were bush peas so it was simpler. Also, chamomile is doing well. I'm growing Early Girl and Big Boy tomatoes. They are not wonderful yet, but I've done my best and given them all day sun, which is becoming harder to do in my Poway garden. I grew just about 20 bush peas, mostly as an experiment to see if they would work and they were wonderful. However, they only gave 3 pods to a plant and I was used to growing long vines of them in Allied Gardens. I have mints and sages but am not a tea drinker: I grow them for my older children who are! My problem is we inherited 8 raised veggie beds put in by former owners and the neighbors' eucalyptus trees make them useless. I have a wish to make this, my favorite feature of Let’s Talk Plants, more helpful by having everyone say where they live. Then if they experience success or failure it will help to know if they have the same climate.
Susan Oddo is letting other farmers do some of her planting: I am planting fewer vegetables with all the farmers' markets nearby that sell wonderful organic, field-ripened product. We'll use less water, have more variety over a longer period of time, and contribute to the sustainability of our local farmers. I'll always have heirloom tomatoes, though. This year I took off all bottom growth and espaliered our six tomato plants vertically so the fruit is easy to see and pick. Also, this lets me find critters before they can do too much damage. Biggest problem is finding tall enough stakes. Next year I think I'll do a combination of horizontal and vertical espalier. The plants are doing fine with fairly aggressive removal of a lot of the non-producing leaf stems that block the sunlight from the fruit. I worried that they would suffer but they are lush, green, healthy and full of tomatoes so apparently that hasn't affected them at all.
Cassidy Rowland planted a good variety of things: We have planted the usual suspects: tomatoes (heirloom brandywine, Cherokee purple, amana orange, green zebra, and stupice) and peppers (jalapeno, banana, Fresno, and other sweet ones). We have potatoes, cukes, zukes, melons, kale and kohlrabi. And, of course, lots of herbs. Also in the yard are avos and citrus. They are all growing; tomatoes have fruit but not ready yet. Can't hurry Mother Nature, altho I would love a Cherokee purple tomato and jack cheese sandwich for lunch!
Diana Downey has a lot in her raised beds: Tomatoes, basil, watermelon, peppers, sunflowers, Swiss chard, lettuce mix (mesclun), strawberries. All is doing pretty well, really. Some of the lettuce mix has gone to seed, but I keep cutting that off. Tomatoes are forming nicely, and I got a couple of waves of planting in so we shouldn’t be inundated. Pics of our new veggie garden are here: http://tinyurl.com/dianeveg.
Robin Hansen provided this extensive list: Tomatoes have heavy powdery mildew and some blossom drop, but am/will be getting fruit. I am pretty coastal, so the powdery mildew is always a problem. Fava Beans are always bullet-proof (except the rabbits discovered them!). Lettuces have been bountiful, no problems. Carrots are coming along nicely. Radishes did very well; need to re-seed. Chard is doing great. Kale just okay, some aphid trouble. Brussels Sprouts have massive aphids (I am organic). Bush and climbing beans are coming along nicely. Cucumbers also coming along nicely; picked the first ones (mini-whites) in early June. Various herbs: all but Tarragon doing very well. Dwarf mandarin oranges got infested by neighboring hibiscus whitefly and snails, but hoping it will set its fruit and recover completely. Strawberries are doing ok. Eggplant should be getting fruit any time now. Artichoke is doing ok. Blueberries are doing well.
Lisa Bellora has been very busy: I have 3 different kinds of tomatoes, two different sweet peppers, two different kinds of cucumbers, Swiss chard, yellow summer squash, zucchini, orange beets, carrots, sweet basil, oregano, Japanese eggplant, strawberries, blueberries, butternut squash, cantaloupe, and watermelon (along with other dwarf fruit trees). The tomatoes got put in the ground early and are 4' high at least and loaded with green tomatoes. The eggplant actually was from last year and overwintered (in Rancho Penasquitos). I have peppers forming, although some of the leaves are being eaten probably by snails/slugs. The beets are just coming up. I am harvesting small yellow squash. I finally got some bird netting over the berries so I am eating them instead of the birds! This was all due to the inspiration of Pat Welsh at the recent Master Gardener conference. I have a small backyard and some of these plants I only have one or two of, but that is all you need for a small family. It is a joy to go out every morning and see what is going on in the garden!
Chip Milligan will probable re-think how he uses compost tea: I was looking forward to tasting my first home-grown celery! It was beautiful, very green and leafy. When I bit into it, yech! It was so bad I had to spit it out. I think that I should not have poured my home-made compost tea directly on it, as it has kelp and fish emulsion (as well as molasses and my own compost). However, I also grew cilantro, spinach, zucchini, Swiss chard and Swiss kale, all of which tasted fantastic. They are all still doing well, except that I am out of spinach.
Robin Rowland has been busy planting: squash, melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, basil, peppers (6 varieties), eggplant, kale (I know, winter plant), marjoram, thyme, savory, and we still have 2 square feet to do more, always more!
Katherine Nowak is going hydroponic: This year I am growing tomatoes hydroponically in a hydroponic garden I made at a class at San Diego Botanic Garden and they are doing beautifully. I will never grow tomatoes in the ground again.
Anne Murphy is growing a cornucopia of goodies: I have tomatoes, zucchini, cantaloupe, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and artichokes (last year's artichoke died but left me three offsets) in the veggie bed. Cherry tomatoes are almost ready. Zucchini doing as expected, and I started giving them away; the rest of the squash family doing well. I usually replace the perennial chard once a year, but this year decided to continue with the gorgeous ones from last year. Broccoli did well, Brussels sprouts only so-so, last one is about done. This year I have added lemon verbena and stevia to herb collection.
Nants Gordon and Barb Potts are tending a nice variety: heirloom and cherry tomatoes, eggplant and peppers (in greenhouse on the coast), winter and summer squash, chard and kale, lettuce, carrots, fresh beans, artichokes, asparagus (soooo bountiful this year), lots of basil, and perennial herbs, rutabagas, turnips, beets, onion… everything we like.
Jan Tucker is off and running with a big list: I am a newbie in your society and a newbie to gardening. It's my third year. I started an organic gardening meetup group in Temecula Valley in April and we have 55 members already! In my garden this summer I have the following veggies and herbs (and notes to tell you how they are doing). Many are heirloom. Most are organic:
Russian Kale (Ragged Jack): Planted this last fall. It is as big as a tree. The leaves are beautifully tender. It has thousands of aphids, and the ladybugs didn't cooperate this year. I soak them and then wash them thoroughly.
Broccoli: From last fall. Still producing! I must've had 9 heads off of the one plant that made it. Others were eaten by pill bugs.
Chard: Beautiful as ever. Some from fall, some new plantings from seed planted indoors in Feb.
Sugar Snap peas: The ones on the northeast side of the garden grew tall and thin. I thought they would be better than the ones on the southwest side that grew so slowly. But the latter are bushier and are producing far more. However, they look strange this year. They are very bumpy: I can see each pea inside the shell. They look like knuckles.
Zucchini (two kinds): The first ones didn't come up, I think because the sprayer wasn't functioning. I changed to drip and planted more last week.
Cucumbers (Market More): The first ones didn't come up at all so I planted more last week. Last year we had a bumper crop and made lots of awesome gazpacho!
Kale: The ones I planted from seed don't look very good. The little seedlings look mangey. I got a nice seedling from a local farmer and it looks great. I guess I didn't treat my seedlings very well.
Eggplant: It's very small right now but promising
Tomatoes (2 indeterminate and 1 determinate): All have blossoms. One of the indeterminate ones had 1 very low fruit, which I cut off. I am trimming them very well.
Bell Peppers: Still very small. Just grew a bit over the weekend.
Bush Beans (Blue Lake): Growing VERY slowly, still small seedlings.
Bean Contender: Growing better and they have blossoms
Napa (? maybe not Napa) Carrots: Growing so slowly!
Yellow Onions: From last fall. A few of them are giants. I let them flower.
Garlic: Planted last November. They're almost ready. Had to fight black aphids most of the time they were growing. They dwindled a lot because I hosed them off with water pretty often.
Lettuce (merlot, butter head, romaine and other): All doing superbly
Strawberries: Very low yield. This is their 2nd or 3rd summer.
Broccoli: Tried a spring crop that didn't go anywhere. The leaves of the seedlings looked chewed and brown.
Mustard greens: Ate the first ones today. They started to bolt already. Covered them with shade cloth. Lots of aphids like the kale, but very good.
Beets: Lovely. My best plant always.
Radishes: No issues.
Spinach: Looking good.
Tarragon: Its Third summer. Looks lovely. Had cut it all the way back. I love this in my omelettes!
Mint: Third summer. Lots of aphids, but smells as wonderful as ever. Think "sun tea."
Oregano: Third summer. Lush and beautiful.
Chives: Second summer. It was hiding under the parsley last year and looked so weak and small. I pulled the parsley out and it is now 2 feet tall and proud.
Dill: Planted this year from a starter. It's growing like crazy. Hung some up to dry today. It has several colors, didn't expect that.
Basil: From seed. Not going anywhere yet. Same thing last year but it turned out great.
Cilantro: Going nowhere from seed. We'll see if it does.
Marsha Bode is having good luck in Vista: I have been concentrating more on my vegetable garden this year and have had great success with many herbs purchased from SDHS sponsor Pearson's Garden and Herb Farm in Vista. They have a multitude of unusual herbs and all are very healthy. Since I have a lot of bare ground and no worries about mints becoming invasive I have planted (in the ground) Apple Mint, Peppermint, Spearmint, and Silver Mint. Also from Pearson's are African Blue Basil and Nutmeg Bush, which I bought just because they sounded interesting. For vegetables I planted zucchini, yellow crook neck squash, red onions, lemon grass, sugar snap peas, and tomatoes (of course). Nothing especially unusual, but for once I planted them at the correct time and have already had a good harvest. Lettuce mix in a long planter box did well until the recent hot days. I also have lots of blackberries, boysenberries, and blueberries. I'm thinking it might have been a mistake to give the blackberries and boysenberries part of the vegetable garden, so this issue will have to be faced in the fall, when I think I will transplant them to their own larger spot.
Katrin Utt has free veggies: I did not plant any vegetables this year, but I have lots of volunteer tomatoes! The small cherry tomatoes are sooo sweet! I think my birds planted them for me to thank me for feeding them.
Mary Poteet is doing well with herbs: Pesto Perpetuo Basil and Tricolor Sage are doing great!
Cindy Sparks shared this with us: Hi from the longest running construction project in the county. My garden has been trashed by construction and repair work. One minute I think they are done, and the next minute they come back and make yet another mess. I am trying to grow tomatoes as usual, but in the fog belt of Pt. Loma, it’s difficult. I am growing fava beans this year, and the one plant is limping along. I also started a brown sesame plant (who knew?). On the positive side, my perennial asparagus patch is as high as my head (it’s out of their way, that must be why). I had a nice cherry crop and the four blueberry plants are bearing well, except for the few weeks when the sprinkler controller was ripped out. It’s all about water, isn’t it? I have squash and more beans ready to go in the ground, AFTER the construction boys are really done. I hope that is sometime before August.
Stephen Zolezzi has had some snail challenges: Having a set of raised beds where crops are protected from gophers and rabbits is a good starting place… but all that protection does not include SNAILS: they seem to come out of nowhere. Constant attention is the best way to get them among edibles. I started this year by purchasing well-along tomatoes and squash and chard to plant, which are with fruit, as opposed to starting them from seed. Have started basil from seed to transplant, but they are slow this year for lack of heat. Thymes, marjorams, oreganos and sages were pruned back from winter-fertilized and are now doing great. I am heavily planted with no worry about over production now that I have 7 chickens. The eggs are pre-seasoned for delicious omelets!
Connie Forest is having problems: My problem this year is basil. I started a bunch of seeds this spring and they all came up. I hate throwing seedlings away, so I transplanted a number of them. So, now they are all ready at once. I know you are supposed to stagger your plantings so they mature at different times, but I am lucky if I get around to planting once. So, I made pesto and will make more and freeze it if I get around to it. I looked up recipes on the net using basil, but I don't want to have a primary diet of basil food. So what will happen is that I will let it go to seed and then wish I had basil later in the summer. I do so admire gardeners who are diligent and organized all the time, but it just isn't in me.
Kenneth Selzer is having success with herbs: Cilantro, parsley, and chives are all doing great.
Penelope Smith tried artichokes: I planted two artichoke plantings in my tomato bed from last year. I did not want to use as much water as for tomatoes, nor did I have the time to put in more plants. Naive me! These two are flourishing, but use the same amount of water. They are coming on in the slightly warmer weather, but no flowers yet.
Woon Lee is another member with good herbs: Rosemary, basil, chives, green onions and garlic greens.
Carol Hartman is also growing herbs and edible flowers: Dill, parsley, fennel, oregano, cilantro and mint so far. Also, I use various flowers when mixing my spices for salads or rubs. They grow large and well and I’m always reseeding to keep a constant supply. I also grow tomatoes (of course), kale, potatoes, and asparagus, plus several squash types and peppers.
Cathy Tylka is growing mint – with no water: I know some people complain about mint taking over their garden, but I am using it for a ground cover in spots nothing else seems to grow. It's surviving, and I do say surviving, as I do not water it at all. I treat it like a San Diego native, plant it, water it for about three months and if it lives, it lives. Now those areas look good and I can have mint tea whenever I like. Some may argue this, but do not treat it tenderly.
Vivian Blackstone reports that her organic veggies are producing a lot: I’m growing these veggies: New Zealand spinach, Early Girl tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, red currant tomatoes, yellow currant tomatoes, and Jerusalem artichoke plants. Also have these herbs: watercress, spearmint, peppermint, society garlic, lemon verbena, feverfew, pineapple sage, Hawaiian ginger and nasturtiums. Also growing Gotji berry.